[FPSPACE] Weinberg in New York Review
thomsona at flash.net
Wed Apr 14 21:03:44 EDT 2004
> Scientists have a distrust of human exploration, they want it to be done
by machines they can control and reproduce exactly the same results.
No, most scientists want it to be done by methods that produce results.
Post-Apollo, human spaceflight has come up pretty empty on scientific
results, Hubble partially excepted. Were human "exploration" to again
include activities that produced scientific results, I'm sure the relevant
scientists would be delighted and supportive.
> It will always be very hard to find a useful compromise between these
It will be as long as "human exploration" goes under the guise of scientific
research and can't deliver. Hence my opinion that human spaceflight should
be promoted on other grounds.
> I will make two more obsevations: when Mars rover Spirit had its software
problem it would have been easy for an astronaut to push the reset button.
If an astronaut had been there, he/she would have been bashing the rocks far
more effectively than Spirit (pbui) ever could. But a geologist on Mars is
many years and many dollars away, while Spirit is something that could be
done reasonably quickly, and with available money.
> And, yes the 1 trillion dollar figure pops up again.
I'm going to differ with Dwaye on this and say that by the time a
ticker-tape parade is held for the returned Mars-1 expedition, the tag in
2004 dollars -- technology development, Moon trips and other related items
included -- isn't going to be a lot less than a trillion dollars. Certainly
several hundreds of billions. It could be otherwise, I think. But I also
think that it won't be.
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